Judicial vacations: how can you make the most of them to optimize your career?

Every year, the judiciary takes its “vacation” between July and August. Far from coming to a complete standstill, justice works in slow motion: non-urgent hearings are postponed, and some delays are lengthened. The clerks’ offices remain open and most of the lawyers are available, either adapting their schedules or taking a break after a year of intense work.

As a lawyer, it is in your best interest to take advantage of this lull to boost your career, get your business in order and think about what comes next!

Reflection time

With less pressure from the audiences, you have more time to focus on your career, your aspirations, your ambitions, and your development opportunities. The range of possibilities is wide open, and you can still re-invent yourself if you don’t like your current situation.

Moving to another department or firm, going in-house, starting your own practice, becoming a professor, getting involved in an association: there are many opportunities to make your skills shine!

Networking & prospection

Get inspired by experts and coaches, meet your peers, get to know the young generation of freshly graduated lawyers ready to enter the market, go out and prospect: the profession’s essence lies in human interaction and exchanges. By surrounding yourself with competent and loyal “travel companions” who share/challenge your values, your vision of the business and its future, you ensure both your personal and your professional development.

The same goes for social networks: LinkedIn is an excellent channel to connect with professionals you have (not) already met. To make a name for yourself and be taken seriously, keep your profile up to date and be proactive.

Notoriety & personal branding

Don’t lose sight of the liberal side of the legal profession: even if you work for a law firm, you can develop your own clientele. To do so, build your expertise in a niche area and legitimize your specialty through high-quality personal branding, online and offline. For example, make sure to keep your business cards handy when networking.

You can also draft cutting-edge articles, participate in podcasts or debates, host conferences, attend professional events, become a teacher or mentor… Speak out as often as you can on your chosen topics.

Continuous training

Law is constantly changing and evolving, and so is the world of work. There are many training courses available to help you learn new legal practices, stay on top of the latest trends in your field, offer state-of-the-art services to your clients or become familiar with digital tools – often useful to offload of-time consuming and repetitive tasks.

Furthermore, English is a prerequisite in many (large and international) law firms and fluency in other foreign languages is an asset. Going abroad, taking courses, or obtaining certification are some of the options that will increase your value on the market and confirm your open-mindedness.

In addition, don’t hesitate to sharpen your soft skills. These non-legal abilities are priceless in many ways: communication, eloquence, team spirit, leadership, management, empathy, resilience…